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PBS Primetime Programming for The Week of August 26

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Wow, Labor Day weekend (the weekend at the end of this week of programming) got here awfully quickly this summer, didn't it? It feels like just yesterday that I was contemplating how I was ever going to make it through a lazy summer without original programming on the major networks, then, one short Imagineer Quest later, it's Labor Day. And, let's not pretend like Imagineer Quest was not labor intensive either. Many thanks again to the nice man at WDI who wrote to me.

Sunday, August 26:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nature – “Chasing Big Cats.” It is an undeniable truth, it is far better to chase big cats than be chased BY big cats. Seriously. Think about it. Do you want to chase the puma or be chased by the puma. I want to chase the puma.

9:00 – 10:30PM

Mystery! – “The Inspector Lynley Mysteries, Series V: The Seed of Cunning. So, there is a body found floating in the Thames. That is not good. Lynley and Havers have to figure out who put it there and why. It gets all political and Havers is trying to have a love-life on the side. There is just a ton going on here, isn't there?

10:30 – 11:00PM

PBS Previews: The War. We've talked about this show before, repeatedly. It's an inside look at the upcoming Ken Burns documentary on World War II.

 

Monday, August 27:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Antiques Roadshow – “Charlotte (Hour Three).” Honestly, I never saw myself as a Charlotte. I always thought I was more of a Miranda. Other people have said that I'm far more Carrie than Miranda or Charlotte. One thing I'm certainly not however is a Samantha. Nope, that's just not me.

9:00 – 10:00PM

History Detectives. – There are so many jokes to be made about the name of this program, and I've laid out a few of them before. I urge you to dig up the archives and check them out. Look into what has been said and when and by whom. I think you know what I'm asking you to be here.

10:00 – 11:00PM

America at a Crossroads - "The Anti-Americans (a hate/love relationship)". Did you know that oh so very much of the world hates us? Well, they do. Even our friends in Europe hate us. This episode of the series travels to Europe to try and figure out just what it is that make us so hateable (no, it is not just envy on their part, we do bad things).

 

Tuesday, August 28:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nova - "Storm That Drowned a City". Nova presents a minute-by-minute account of what exactly happened during Hurricane Katrina. There have been hurricanes to hit New Orleans before; what made this one quite so deadly? Will we be seeing more such storms? Watch and find out.

9:00 – 10:00PM

Wide Angle – “The Dying Fields.” In central India crop failures combined with a drop in cotton prices and several other factors are destroying people's lives. In Vidarbha, India, 1,044 suicides were reported in 2006. This show presents an inside look at their economy and its ramifications.

10:00 – 11:00PM

P.O.V. - “Libby, Montana.” I think that this may be some sort of spin-off of Hanna Montana, but am too scared to read the description to find out. Do you think that PBS might have gotten a spin-off of a Nickelodeon series? I think it unlikely, but possible. Either that or this show is about a small town, Libby, in the state of Montana.

 

Wednesday, August 29:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Masters of the Arctic Ice. I was once a master of the Arctic ice, but I turned in my special Arctic Ice Master wand and traded it for a Tropical Island Coconut. Now, I'm the master of all the tropical islands I survey. Researchers are now looking into how global warming is destroying the Arctic ice and affecting the animal inhabitants.

9:00PM – 10:30PM

Great Performances - "Nureyev: The Russian Years". This episode features recently recorded interviews about the ballet master. There is also archival footage not yet seen in the west. It should also touch on exactly why he defected in 1961 and his return years later.

10:30PM – 11:00PM

PBS Previews: The War. We've talked about this show before, repeatedly. It's an inside look at the upcoming Ken Burns documentary on World War II.

 

Thursday, August 30:

8:00 – 9:00PM

The This Old House Hour - Episode TBA. It’s This Old House and Ask This Old House. It’s like maintenance… for your home. Wait, no, that’s exactly what it is. That doesn’t mean it’s not awesome though. Seriously, The This Old House Hour is one of the finest home improvement hours on PBS. No joke.

9:00 – 10:00PM

Antiques Roadshow – “Charlotte (Hour Three).” Honestly, I never saw myself as a Charlotte. I always thought I was more of a Miranda. Other people have said that I'm far more Carrie than Miranda or Charlotte. One thing I'm certainly not however is a Samantha. Nope, that's just not me.

10:00 – 11:00PM

These Kids Mean Business – Pulitzer winning columnist Clarence Page looks at at-risk youth and the effects of entrepreneurship education on them. Does it help? Does it hurt? What can it teach us?

 

Friday, August 31:

8:00 – 8:30PM

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal #4709. Another whole week has gone by and good old Gwen Ifill and National Journal are here to fill us in. For the record, I like to pretend the National Journal is a sidekick, like Robin to Batman, Starsky to Hutch, or chocolate sauce to chocolate ice cream.

8:30 – 9:00PM

NOW #335. It’s the Emmy award-winning weekly newsmagazine. It looks at issues facing our democracy. The show is hosted by David Brancaccio. And, even better, they still send me e-mails (I think that makes me cool and them nice). Thanks, Now, you guys are awesome!

9:00 – 10:00PM

Bill Moyers Journal #1121 – It’s Bill Moyers. It’s his 1,121th journal (not really, but I’m not going to explain to you the way in which TV shows are numbered at this point in time, maybe later if you’re nice). He’s a good journalist so I assume this will be good journalism (at least the odds are it will).

10:00PM – 10:30PM

Exposé: America’s Investigative Reports #211. Each episode in this series focuses on journalistic investigations and the people that went and did them. I think it’s a dying art in this country, we’re all far too interested in the cheap hit than the in-depth story.

10:30 – 11:00PM

Alan Alda in Scientific American Frontiers – “Robot Pals.” Everyone, sing along: She's a small wonder, pretty and bright with soft curls. She's a small wonder, a girl unlike other girls. You know what I'm talking about, don't pretend otherwise.

 

Saturday, September 1:

9:00 – 10:00PM

Austin City Limits – "Widespread Panic". Did you know that Widespread Panic is, allegedly, one of the most popular "road warrior" bands? I guess that Road Warrior did have a lot of widespread panic as a backstory, so that kind of makes sense in an odd way, right?

 

Have I told you that I have horrible memories of Labor Day as a child? I think I did last week, so I won't rehash the whole thing, but just remember: I will not be watching any telethons this weekend, no way, no how. Unless, of course, someone decides to hold a telethon in my honor. Have I told you that I've always wanted to go to Hawaii? Seriously.

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About Josh Lasser

Josh has deftly segued from a life of being pre-med to film school to television production to writing about the media in general. And by 'deftly' he means with agonizing second thoughts and the formation of an ulcer.